Birds Win Extra-Inning Thriller In Fargo
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PHOTO: Sean Rice / Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
FARGO, N.D. -- The pennant race Sioux Falls waited a decade for delivered another remarkable finish Wednesday night. The Sioux Falls Canaries scored three runs in the top of the 11th inning to defeat the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 4-1 at Newman Outdoor Field.
Damek Tomscha hit a go-ahead solo home run and Mike Hart delivered a two-run triple in the decisive 11th. Tyler Herron delivered seven strong innings for the Canaries on the mound. The win extends the Birds' lead to 2.5 games for the second playoff spot in the American Association.
Fargo-Moorhead jumped out to an early lead in the first inning. Brennan Metzger hit a leadoff single, and Correlle Prime delivered his own single two batters later. Birds right fielder Clint Coulter had trouble fielding the ball in right, and Metzger scored on the error to make it 1-0.
The Birds responded in the top of the second. Alay Lago hit a one-out double, and Roy Morales drove him in two batters later with an RBI single through the right side.
The RedHawks came close to regaining the lead in the sixth inning. A Drew Ward double and Correlle Prime walk made it first and second with two out. Leo Piña hit a single to right, and Ward attempted to score. Coulter threw him out at home plate for his league-leading ninth outfield assist of the season.
Herron allowed one unearned run in seven innings on seven hits. He walked two and struck out six, throwing 100 pitches.
The Birds threatened to take the lead in the eighth, bringing runners to first and second with one out and Clint Coulter due up. RedHawks interim manager Chris Coste pulled starter John Anderson in favor of right-hander Bret Helton. Helton induced an inning-ending double play to snuff out the threat.
Ryan Fritze threw a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth for Sioux Falls, and Helton put up a zero in the top of the ninth. Weather moved into the area, and the grounds crew put the tarp on the field to begin a 37-minute rain delay.
Grady Wood threw the ninth and 10th innings for Sioux Falls, allowing no runs on only one hit. He would earn the win.
Tomscha's go-ahead blast in the 11th off Helton was his 10th of the season; it came with one out. Ryan Brett, in his first plate appearance of the night after coming on as a pinch-runner, hit a two-out single. One batter later Roy Morales reached on a throwing error from RedHawks shortstop Sam Dexter, setting the stage for Hart's two-run triple.
Keaton Steele pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his league-leading 15th save of the year.
The Canaries and RedHawks meet for the rubber game of their three-game series Thursday at 7:02 p.m. Eddie Medina will get the start in his Canaries debut. Bradin Hagens will start for Fargo-Moorhead. Canaries fans can find radio and streaming information at sfcanaries.com.